Within a giant and empty cave, there were rough signs of chiseling everywhere. Torches were inserted in grooved channels in the wall. Thick globs of burning fat constantly dripped down, but before they were by the bone-chilling air.
More than ten figures were standing silently. Whether they were men or women, they were tall and their faces were etched with the color of passing wind and frost. They wore thick fur coats and fur hats. It wasn’t because they weren’t strong enough to resist the cold of the seasons, but that the cold air in this snowy northern region had a terrifying ability to pierce through and ignore one’s cultivation.
Sitting in the center of these people was a silver-haired old man. He was different from the others in that all he wore was a thin white robe, making him seem even more thin and withered. But, the tall and calm men and women around him all looked at him with deep respect in their eyes.
Suddenly, a weak voice rose up. It was like an ice-bound stream in the mountains had finally thawed and was now beginning to flow. The silver-haired old man opened his eyes. His pupils were clear and bright, filled with a light that seemed as if it could see through all things.
“It’s time.” His voice was warm and temperate, a bit of anticipation in it. “After this, I must trouble you to block the cave and not allow anyone to detect it.”
A particularly tall and sturdy man bowed. “Lord Sage, do not worry, I will not allow a single mistake to happen.” He turned and walked back, standing beneath a burning torch.
The other tall men and women bowed towards the silver-haired old man and took their respective positions.
Deep roars burst out from deep within the cave. The animal fur-wearing men and women erupted with an extraordinary aura. At this time, the torches above their heads began to quietly change. Their color deepened, becoming a burning crimson, as if they were made of burning blood.
Slight fluctuations were released from these flames. Like a silent spring rain, it covered the entire cave. Then, an invisible membrane formed, completely isolating the cave from the outside world.
The silver-haired old man faintly smiled, satisfaction on his face. He fell backwards, and with a plopping sound as if he were entering water, he was submerged in dark red blood.
After waiting for countless years, it was finally time to begin. The environment was becoming increasingly poor and his people could not afford to wait any longer. So, this time they had to succeed.
Even if he died, he would use this body to open up a road for the continuation of their tribe!
In the far off depths of the Demon Ascension Gate’s small world, there was a land filled with numerous ancient trees that rose up into the heavens. Each one was thick to the point that it would take dozens of people to wrap their arms around it. The luxurious leaves and branches blocked out the skies and a thick layer of fallen debris formed over the ground. In this dark and humid environment, there was a revolting stench that made one wish to vomit. Interwoven within this was multicolored gas; the toxicity was astonishing.
This place was peaceful and serene. Besides these thick ancient trees, there were no other life forms that existed here. There were no demon beasts, vines, weeds, thorns…it seemed that this was a nation ruled by ancient trees!
But if someone climbed up to the crown of one of these ancient trees and looked towards the depths of the forest, they would find that there really did seem to be a great tree that could support the heavens. Its size surpassed common understanding. In front of it, these thick and ancient trees seemed like small saplings that had just germinated.
The ancient blue leaves were so thick and crowded that they blocked out this part of the skies. Thus, it formed a pitch black darkness as if this ancient tree created a hole in the world.
But at this moment, within this terrifying darkness, there were several flashes of red. It was like the mouth of a giant monster had opened, ready to swallow countless lives.
If one approached this terrifying great tree, they would discover that the veins of all its leaves were gradually transforming into a crimson color. It was like its system of roots had drilled into a blood sea in the depths of hell and was absorbing it, thus causing this destruction and ferociousness.
Cracks began to appear in the ground. Bright red blood gushed out, constantly flowing out from the cracks and surrounding the ancient trees nearby.
Qin Yu was expressionless. He looked at the four cultivators in front of him who seemed pleasantly surprised, as if someone had just thrown a pouch of gold at their heads, and his eyes remained calmly indifferent.
Perhaps his calmness caused these four people to not underestimate him. They hesitated repeatedly before one of them said, “Yao Bin, if you know what’s good for you then hand over the wonder stone and we won’t make things hard for you. Otherwise, your journey through the Demon Ascension Gate ends here!”
As he thought, it was the bounty announced by Zuo Lanyue that was causing him trouble. His eyebrows furrowed together and a cold light flashed in his eyes. He didn’t know the reason why, but those people at the top of the ranking list were gaining points at an incredible speed. Even if Qin Yu had the Cosmic Seacross Bell warning him of enemies, he had only managed to reach the 64th spot.
Although this result was sufficient to join the Demonic Path, Qin Yu believed there was a great gap from where he should be.
If he wanted to rise as fast as he could within the Demonic Path, he needed enough resources and attention from them. Thus, Qin Yu didn’t plan on hiding his skills but instead planned on erupting with all his strength so that the Demonic Path would notice him.
This being the case, then within the Demon Ascension Gate he would need to gather as many points as he could to rank as high as possible. Of course, taking first place would be the best outcome.
Thus, he didn’t have any time to waste on these people.
“Leave, or I will make you leave.” These two ‘leaves’ had clearly different meanings.
The four cultivators were stunned. Their complexions immediately darkened. They never expected that Qin Yu would still be so arrogant at this moment. One of them sneered, “You would rather do things the hard way…”
Before he finished speaking, there was a loud explosion. The ground seemed to shake. The cultivator who spoke widened his eyes, disbelief on his face.
You attacked…you attacked…you dare to attack!?
But soon, this shock turned into fear. The rapidly approaching figure released an incredibly cruel and brutal aura, as if he were a vicious beast in human form.
Horror surged forth from his heart. In fact, he had no means to block this collision and could only raise his arms to barely block it in time.
The deep sound caused the hearts of the three others to skip a beat. Their scalps tingled. In the next moment, they saw their previously lively companion go flying away. The arms he used to block with were now bent at an extremely bizarre angle and one could even see bits of white bone fly past him. A cold chill overtook them.
It was only now that they heard a sad and shrill scream of pain. The cultivator plummeted to the floor, his body plowing a deep gash in the ground and scattering blood all along the path.
When the cultivator finally came to a stop, the other three finally saw the appearance of their companion. They sucked in a cold breath and their faces paled.
They saw that the man’s arms had turned as limp as noodles. His chest had collapsed inwards and blood gushed out from every orifice of his head. It was clear his internal organs had suffered severe damage.
A punch…it was just one punch…
The three paled even further.
With a light sound, the cultivator at the bottom of the ditch was suddenly wrapped up in a halo of black light. Then, he vanished from sight.
Qin Yu’s eyes flashed. This was the first time he had seen a cultivator make use of the soulguard stone; it really did allow someone to leave whenever they wanted. This was also normal when he thought about it. Those that had the qualifications to participate in the Demon Ascension Gate were the most talented and outstanding juniors of their generation. The Demonic Path would not allow massive swathes of them to perish here.
Qin Yu’s eyes swept over and the three cultivators rapidly retreated. One of them shouted. “You…what do you want to do!? Let me tell you something, my uncle is a manager within the Demonic Path! If you dare to harm me, you will suffer retaliation!”
His voice and expression were threatening and aggressive, but his heart was actually weak and fading.
Qin Yu said without expression. “Give me your demon blood.”
The three of them relaxed but revealed a pained expression in the next moment. Then, they each took out a jade bottle.
Qin Yu took them all and inspected them. With the cultivations of these three people, it was probably all they could gather so far.
The three turned and fled without any hesitation.
If they gave up their demon blood they could still continue to hunt down demon beasts and gather more. But if they were forced to leave, that really would be miserable for them.
Moreover, the sight of what happened to their companion just now was still fresh in their minds and filled their hearts with fear.
Compared to him, they were much luckier!
Qin Yu’s eyes flashed. With a bit of strength, the seals on the outside of the three jade bottles shattered and all the demon blood that the three cultivators used up so much effort to gather suddenly floated in front of him.
Demon blood could help a cultivator strengthen their mortal body and awaken their demonic bloodline. But, if one saved up enough to a certain extent and then swallowed it down again, there was a much higher chance of activating and promoting one’s bloodline. At the very least, even if a person didn’t have any bloodline talent, they could still bring this demon blood out and sell it at a sky-high price.
Of course, Qin Yu didn’t care for the reason why these three people had saved up their demon blood. He grasped out a hand and the three globs of demon blood fused together. Then, it snaked along his fingers and fused into his body.
After a moment Qin Yu opened his eyes, disappointment on his face.
As he thought, low-level demon blood was of almost no use to him. If he wished to continue strengthening his demonic bloodline he would need to find a way to hunt down higher level demon beasts and obtain more formidable demon blood.
Unfortunately, even up until now, Qin Yu hadn’t met any higher level demon beasts. It seemed that there weren’t many of them in this small world.
He shook his head and suppressed these helpless thoughts. Taking a step forward, he howled ahead.
However, only a brief moment passed before he came to a sudden stop. With a gloomy expression, he looked at a large tree in front of him.
A corpse was slumped beneath the tree. The body was torn in two parts from the waist. Blood still seeped out from the wound, proving that this person hadn’t died too long ago.
And surprisingly, this corpse was one of those three people who had just fled from Qin Yu. His eyes were still wide and filled with fear.
Everyone who entered this small world had a soulguard stone. Qin Yu had also seen that item’s powers just now.
If someone wanted to run away, even he couldn’t stop them.
So, if this person died such a tragic death here, then they had either been ambushed and didn’t have enough time to use the soulguard stone…or the demon beast or whatever else that killed him had been so strong that he couldn’t escape…
Qin Yu raised his guard and vigilantly looked around. Suddenly, his pupils shrank and he rapidly drew backwards.
At this moment, the split-in-half corpse tilted its head up and looked straight at Qin Yu. “Where…are…you…going…”
Even if Qin Yu had a firm will, he still felt a cold chill instinctually drill out from the depths of his heart.
The ground beneath him suddenly caved in. His body was like a great stone as he howled backwards.
The moment Qin Yu dodged backwards, the caved in ground where he had been suddenly exploded. Countless terrifying tree roots drilled out, blotting out the skies as they came crashing back down.
If he hadn’t decisively retreated just now, he feared he would have already been entangled by these roots!
With loud explosions, the ancient tree behind the corpse suddenly pulled its roots out from the earth. The network of countless roots wove together, forming six giant feet of roots that pushed the massive tree forward.
At some time, a branch came out from the tree, lifting up the upper half of the corpse. As the tree shook and raced forward, the two blood-filled eyes of the corpse still stared straight at Qin Yu.
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